Is Hizbolla* really a terrorist organization? I would have said “Of course, they are! They want to push Israel into the sea and set up an Islamic republic.” If anyone had asked me what terror attacks Hizbollah has committed, I would have said, “I don’t know, but I do know there have been lots of them!” I would have said that before I actually did any research.
First, “push Israel into the sea” is just a phony but oft-repeated talking point. Who actually said this? If you try to track it down, you will find “Iran,” “Hamas,” “Ahmadinejad,” “Hizbollah,” in other words, some bad guy said it. It was originally attributed to Ahmadinejad, but later Israel’s Deputy Prime Minister Dan Meridor admitted that this was a mistranslation. What Ahmadinejad actually said was that Israel was “an unnatural creature and cannot survive.” So who said “push Israel into the sea?” Israel, that’s who.
But wait, what is a terrorist organization? Since we execute terrorists at will, detain them indefinitely without trial, freeze all their assets and invade countries harboring them-isn’t it important to define exactly who or what we are talking about? A blend of FBI and State Department definitions: Terrorism is the “use of force intended to influence a course of action that furthers a political or social goal.” What? By that definition, the U.S. itself is a terrorist organization. The popular definition is the “use of violence against innocent civilians for political objectives.”
So what terror attacks has Hizbollah committed? It must be hundreds! Even the most biased source, CAMERA (Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America-an Israeli organization) “only” lists thirty-five instances of “international terrorism.” O.K. but thirty-five is a lot!
But in fairness, I think you have to eliminate any acts that occurred on Lebanese soil against foreign soldiers invading their nation. Would you agree that the invader is the one whose boots are on foreign ground, while the freedom fighter is the one whose boots are on his own soil? Would you agree that if a foreign military invades your nation, you are justified, if not duty-bound, to resist them by any means necessary?
If you do agree with that premise, the list of Hizbollah alleged terror attacks shrinks drastically, because most involve defending Lebanon from within Lebanese borders. What is left?
Hizbollah is accused of bombing an Israeli embassy in Argentina in 1992. That’s outrageous and certainly qualifies as international terrorism. Hizbollah denies doing this and in fact, killing civilians in Argentina made absolutely no sense for them. It makes a lot of sense however, for Israel to have done it and blame it on Hizbollah.
That’s a horrible thing to suggest, but it wouldn’t be the first time. In 1954 Zionists planned a series of attacks in Egypt which came to be known as the Lavon Affair. They planned to “plant bombs inside Egyptian, American and British-owned civilian targets, cinemas, libraries and American educational centers…to be blamed on the Muslim Brotherhood, Egyptian Communists, “unspecified malcontents (Hizbollah did not exist in 1954.)” They were caught red-handed and though Israel officially denied it for 50 years, the “surviving terrorists were officially honored in 2005 by being awarded certificates of appreciation by Israeli President Moshe Katzav.
So what terrorist acts is Hizbollah undeniably guilty of? They admit they captured Israeli soldiers on their border and held them to trade for their prisoners held in Israeli jails. The first time they did this, they got lots of prisoners out of jail, after Israel spent four days bombing south Lebanon. The second time they did this, in 2006, the U.S. NeoCons were in power and it was used as a pretext for all-out war on Lebanon.
Israel launched its usual saturation bombing, including dropping over one million cluster bombs. But Hizbollah totally beat Israel in that war, routing them thoroughly and destroying scores of Israel’s ‘indestructible’ Merkava tanks.
What other international terrorism has Hizbollah been accused of? When a bus containing mostly Israeli tourists was blown up in Bulgaria in 2012, Netanyahu immediately blamed Iran/Hizbollah. This was before any evidence was available and though the investigation dragged on for some time, Israel never stopped asserting that Iran/Hizbollah was guilty. Eventually, Bulgaria rather weakly agreed it must have been Iran/Hizbollah, but without providing any hard evidence.
Hizbollah has never invaded Israel, but Hizbollah defeated Israel soundly when Israel invaded them. That’s why Hizbollah is an existential threat, that’s why they must be disarmed and crushed and their supporters, Syria and Iran must also be crushed.
What Israel actually wants is for Hizbollah to be pushed into the sea.
*Hizbollah or Hezbollah, either spelling is correct.
History of Modern Lebanon Interview with Lebanese historian and author
The Hezbollah Mystery documentary